On July 12, 1943, under the leadership of Regional Director, Soror Minerva Johnson and National President, Soror Elsie Austin, life was breathed into the Alpha Tau Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated in Orangeburg, South Carolina. The late Sorors Rosamond Alston and Helen W. Sheffield were the architects of Delta in Orangeburg for the graduate and undergraduate chapters.
Charter members of Alpha Tau Sigma were: Rosamond Alston*, Cassandra Maxwell Birnie*, Helen W. Sheffield*, Mamie E. Thompson*, and Clemmie E. Webber. Soror Helen W. Sheffield served as Alpha Tau Sigma’s first President.
The first group of sorors and initiates to join in the new chapter were:
|Willie B. Calhoun*||Alethia Lightener Lewis*|
|Elizabeth Calhoun*||Nettie P. Parler*|
|Cora Green*||Laverte Reed*|
|Etta Butler Rowe*||Beatrice Thompson*|
|Rosa DeLorme Harris*||Trudelle Wimbush*|
|Edith Vaughn*||Rose Reed Odom|
|Dollis Simpson Johnson||Rose Embly|
During the 23rd National Convention in New York City, August 14-20, 1954, delegates recommended and voted in the affirmative that hereafter a graduate chapter shall be designated as an alumnae chapter and identified according to the community in which it is located. In keeping with the policy of Grand Chapter to designate non-campus based chapters by county, city or area of chapter location, the name was changed from Alpha Tau Sigma to Orangeburg Alumnae Chapter.
Since 1943, the Orangeburg Alumnae Chapter has increased from five charter members to over 200 members in 2009. Many chapter members have been recognized as leaders in community activism, athletics, business, education and scholarship, media and literature as well as in government. Members have excelled in these roles at the local, state, and national levels.
Over the years, the chapter has established programs to provide public service initiatives based upon our sorority’s Five-Point Programmatic Thrust: (1) Economic Development, (2) Educational Development, (3) International Awareness and Involvement, (4) Physical and Mental Health, and (5) Political Awareness and Involvement. Through its local and national programs, the chapter continue to fulfill our Founders’ dreams of achieving excellence, providing scholarships and rendering public service to the community.
Major projects of the chapter have included: political awareness, voter registration, tutorial services, health and wellness, development of our youth, community empowerment and financial fortitude. The chapter sponsors many activities that benefit the community such as Ebony Fashion Fair, May Week, Betty Shabazz Delta Academy/GEMS, Monsieur Ebonaire Beautillion and Pageant, and the Healthy Lifestyle Weight Loss Challenge. Some of the organizations receiving chapter support are the United Negro College Fund, NAACP, American Cancer Society, American Red Cross, CASA Family Systems and Habitat for Humanity.
Orangeburg Alumnae Chapter has been recognized for its’ “commitment to serve” by many community organizations. Several awards, certificates, plaques and trophies have been received throughout the years. Members were thrilled to receive a $500 award shared with Sumter Alumnae Chapter, a Lawry Certificate of Excellence from Lawry Foods.
|1943 Helen Sheffield*||1973-1975 Ruby Davis|
|1944 Rosa Harris*||1975-1977 Barbara Townsend|
|1945 Etta Rowe*||1977-1979 Barbara Clark|
|1946 Alethia Lewis*||1979-1981 Margaret Roberts|
|1947 Johncie Williams*||1981-1983 Rosa Perry|
|1948-1949 Clemmie Webber *||1983-1985 Lelia White|
|1950 Geneva Williams||1985-1988 Grace Salters|
|1951 Beautine DeCosta||1988-1990 Ida Wanamaker|
|1952 Trudelle Wimbush*||1990-1992 Ida Wanamaker|
|1953-1954 Anna Hunter||1992-1994 Andria Jeffries|
|1955 Clemmie Webber*||1994-1996 Sara Funderburk|
|1956 Dorothy Isaac||1996-1998 Shirley Hugee|
|1957-1958 Geneva Williams||1998-2000 Rosemary Smith|
|1959-1961 Amelia Roberts*||2000-2002 Debra Felder|
|1961-1963 Bernice Middleton*||2002-2004 Georgia Montgomery|
|1963-1965 Barbara Jenkins||2004-2006 Georgia Montgomery|
|1965-1967 Barbara Jenkins||2006-2010 Rosemary Smith Hickman|
|1967-1969 Valeria Staley||2010-2012 Georgia Montgomery|
|1969-1971 Bernice Jenkins*/Alba Lewis||2012-2016 Cynthia Keller|
|1971-1973 Inez Duncan*||2016 – Rita Teal|